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Tell me about the most challenging experience you've had as a teacher.

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Social Studies Teacher interview

How to Answer

As a social studies teacher, you will always have a challenging student, or four, in your classroom! The interviewer wants to be assured that you can handle these circumstances with grace and professionalism.

Sometimes all you can do is be supportive by spending time with struggling students, teaching them about time management, and encouraging them to seek extra help on their own. You may have had a challenging student who was disruptive in class. How you handle these types of difficulties tells the interviewer that you have the skills to deal with challenging students and that you will be equipped to handle them in the future.

Tell me about the most challenging experience you've had as a teacher.
Answer example

"I had a student with a mild learning disability. There were several areas where he was struggling that made it difficult for him to master the material for the class. I wanted him to do well in my class and his high school career, so I did what I could to support him by communicating with the reading teacher and some other teachers to give him a better support system."

Entry Level

"While completing my practicum, I worked as a teachers' aide for a Grade 8 classroom. The neighborhood where the school was located had a diverse demographic. This was a challenge for me because some students were rougher around the edges than I was accustomed to. I overcame this challenge by getting to know the students on a more personal level. The trust relationship we developed over 12 weeks was incredible."


"I have had many challenging experiences over my eight-year teaching career. The most challenging experience I have had came during my time as a substitute teacher. Being a substitute is very challenging because you don't necessarily have a connection with the students yet you need them to be engaged in the classroom. I overcame this by spending the first 10 minutes of each class getting to know my students with a quick exercise. I would also let them ask a few questions about me. It helped a great deal during my challenging times as a substitute teacher."

View user-submitted Answers

Tell me about the most challenging experience you've had as a teacher.
Not getting an interview in Bemidji for social studies position after teaching 4 years in sped.
Getting the opportunity to showcase my skills.
I have to honestly that every student presents a different challenge in some respect or another. Sergio was probably my toughest. His 2 brothers were gang members. One is out on parole and the other is in jail for felony assault. His real dad was an alcoholic who occasionally beat his mom. He flunked 6 grade last year & was in for the second time. He seemed lost. Sergio was disruptive in class & put forth minimal effort in math class. I had tried one on one teacher & peer mentoring etc had conversations with Sergio mom.
When I was teaching in drs international there was a student with learning difficulty . Here it was hard for me to understand the child first then after meeting their parents I understood that the child is having aproblem then I started taking a special care and spent extra time with him to make him understand what he is doing.
Students behavior, but it is important to follow classroom management rules.
The most frustrating thing that happened to me is when a student wanted to quit working on an assignment. It was not because he didn't want to do it; it was because he felt he could not do it. He didn't have the skills to do the assignment.
Student was having short term memory.

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